Skip to main content

tv   American Revolution 1760 to 1778  CSPAN  September 9, 2017 10:00am-10:46am EDT

10:00 am
workers to help prepare the supplies selective again to do is world can we find people to hold these jobs? for the first time ever, positions mcginn to become a viable. >> next on american artifacts, a visit to philadelphia's museum of american revolution. in the first of a two-part program, we learned about the location and design. we explore the origins of the untiltion in 1760 up 1776. president ande
10:01 am
ceo of the resume of the american revolution and i am standing on the plaza at the corner of third and chestnut streets in old city philadelphia. philadelphia was the headquarters of the revolution, where delegates came and protests first mounted, where the declaration of independence was written 200 yards away at independence hall. this really is the most central element of the american revolution, the birth of our nation, which is why this museum is located here. just down the street from me is the first bank of the united states. that is alexander hamilton's branch bank when he launched our nation's banking system. it is also the first building constructed by the united states of america. so we have truly are or the -- our where the nation began and it is the right place to tell the entire story of the american revolution, which is our mission in the museum. behind me, you see canons from
10:02 am
the era, these are part of the city of philadelphia's collection. everyone of these canons are old enough that it could have been used to fight the revolution. on the wall behind me, you see carved, in stone, those core concepts that rose from the declaration of independence, the inspiring lofty ideals of equality, of freedom, liberty, self-government, the whole purpose of the american revolution. it began in 1776, but the revolution continues to this day. over here we have wonderful exterior features of the museum to really help extend our story and use the outside of the building to inform people about the revolution. these are things you will recognize. the first one is a giant sculptural relief that replicates the john trumbull painting, the decoration of
10:03 am
independence. what you are looking at is the drafting committee that wrote the declaration, led by angevin -- benjamin franklin, john adams, and of course, thomas jefferson, presenting their draft to the entire assembled congress in early july, 1776. that launched about three days or four days of debate before the language was finalized and voted on on the fourth of july. this sculptural panel really shows you the people who helped create the defining document of the american people. it is the power of the pen. it is the ideals and concepts of the revolution that made it the most important event and our nation's history and one of the most important events in world history, at least modern world history. the second panel we have, same scale, also cast in bronze, tells the other story of the american revolution.
10:04 am
and that is the power of the sword. this is replica of washington crossing the delaware. we all recognize it. what this represents is the improbable feat of overcoming impossible odds against the british military in the battlefield. it is really due to george washington's leadership that we were able to accomplish that. so the painting really dramatizes washington's leadership. there are a number of historians you there are a number of details of this painting that are inaccurate, that it is actually truthful in capturing washington's leadership in the purpose and mission of the revolution itself. both of these sculptural pieces are donations to the museum and they were donated to us by a naturalized american, a woman born and raised in china, but now an american citizen.
10:05 am
she wanted to give these to the museum, to philadelphia, to the american public as ingratitude of the freedom and life she has been able to live as an american citizen. that is the legacy of our revolution, is that we encompass everyone who comes to this nation, no matter when their ancestors came, and they are a part of our nation. if they uphold the values of our founding, then they too are american. it's wonderful to not only present the history of these two sculptural panels, but their meaning in terms of significance in the life of the donors today. having looked at the outside of the museum, let's go in. we are entering the entrance rotunda of the museum. this is a wonderful, classical, welcoming space. the architecture of the building was selected because he so
10:06 am
thoroughly understand vesicle -- classical architecture, not that we wanted to copy a building from antiquity, but we wanted the same sense of scale and proportion and stature and he delivered beautifully. in fact, this rotunda is named in his honor. let's go upstairs. the design of these stairs is intentional to evoke the curved, soaring stairways of some of the more elegant residential homes of the colonial and early republic period. they welcome our visitors to come to the second-floor atrium where the core of our visitors are. in the atrium, you see magnificent paintings, paintings that are historic and capture the spirit of the american revolution. the one you are looking at now is by harrington fitzgerald. he is a pennsylvania artist and he painted this in the early 20th century.
10:07 am
this is his depiction of washington's army marching into valley forge for that -- for what was to be a very terrible winter encampment after the british captured philadelphia. now behind me is a magnificent painting, but it is a copy. the original is by a frenchman and the original hangs in versailles. this was created in the middle of a 19th century, this copy was. what it shows is the siege of yorktown. since a french artist painting ed this for the king, the most prominent individual is general roshambo, the one in the pink sash. george washington is the one to the left. it captures the critically important role that the french played, not only in yorktown, but throughout the american revolution. one other feature that attracted us to this painting is that it
10:08 am
shows a tent. this is really a french tent, it looks more napoleonic, certainly not the kind of tent george washington would have used, but we love the fact that it did show how armies traveled, living in tents. since one of the crown jewels of our collection is george washington's war tent. scott: i'm at scott stephenson, and we are standing on the second floor of the museum. this is where our court -- core exhibition, just 16,000 square feet of exhibition space wraps around this court that i am standing in. we enter here on my left and we wrap around through 16 galleries and theaters, behind the big painting you see on the south end of the court all the way around and you actually exit
10:09 am
just opposite where we are standing here. you enter, the subject of king george the third, when you leave, you are a citizen of the american republic. you tell a story. the core narrative is 1760-7090, -- the 1790, but we carry you through to the present day to explore the legacies of the american revolution. but first we have to step back to 1776 and we start with a recreation of the moment on july 9, 1776, when a group of soldiers and sailors from new york city first heard the words of the declaration of independence and gathered down at the bowling green, which is now near the raging bull on wall street, a landmark familiar to many viewers, and tore down an equestrian statue of king george the third. really marking the beginning of the war of independence, the beginning of the american revolution.
10:10 am
and so this is really our first gallery displaying objects from the period. we call this world brittania. after you have been in that moment of 1776, we take you back 15 years, really the end of what is known as the seven years war, the french and indian war, the session -- the session of the new king george the third, the first is born monarch in the century. this is the period in which britain wins this incredible victory in what the king called the first world war. it vastly expanded britain's territories from india to africa to the west indies and particularly, north america. more than doubled the territory
10:11 am
that britain laid claim over in north america. in the case behind us, we have a collection of objects owned and used by colonial americans that speak to the presence of the king in everyday life. one of the great objects here, this is a cast-iron fireback made by oxford furnace in new jersey in 1746. this is essentially a cast-iron plate placed in the back of a fireplace that would radiate heat out into the room. as you can see, it includes the arms, the royal arms of the king of england. so an everyday object like this. right above it is a similar coat of arms for queen anne, the monarch. this was found in the attic of independence hall in 1884.
10:12 am
was taken down and kind of forgotten. this is the type of symbol of the crown that you would have seen in public and private spaces throughout the colonies. it was a reminder of the sovereignty of the king, who was the glue that held society together in this period when they were subject to the crown. we also have objects that introduce you to british euros. -- british heroes. in the upper right, a tavern sign. this is on loan to us from the connecticut historical society, a wonder of society with amazing collections. they generally placed this on loan to the museum. you see a british general who died after being mortally wounded at the battle of quebec in 1759, hoping to capture french canada for the british empire. and he was celebrated by americans. this tavern sign hung in front of the tavern kept by israel putnam, who would be famous as
10:13 am
an american general in the revolutionary war, fought in the battle of bunker hill. our second gallery we titled the price of victory. more empire, more problems. after the british victory in the seven years war, with this vastly expanded empire, particularly in north america, britain faces this challenge. everyone is excited about having this larger empire, but there are now tens of thousands of new subjects. that look to king george the third, desiring him to act as their sovereign or in the case of people who do not recognize the new sovereign, like native americans, at least seeing them as a person who they can ask for assistance with their problems. so you have tens of thousands of native americans, more than
10:14 am
70,000 french catholic and some former spanish colonists who now britain claims as its subjects. in addition, you have 2.5 million british colonists, people like george washington, and the like benjamin franklin and others, who fought in a war they believe to enjoy the fruits of that victory in the west. so the king all of a sudden has to face this challenge of, how do i balance the interest of all these subjects? how do i keep american indians happy so they don't rise up and cause costly wars on the frontier, and at the same time, honor promises i made to people like george washington who think they fought this war in order to enjoy this land. what do i do about these french catholic citizens who want to continue to practice their faith? they are used to using french ecclesiastical law. the king has to act as the
10:15 am
arbiter of these various people. gallery two, the price of victory, really sets up that problem for the crown. how does it trying to balance these different interests? what is the view from the interior? what is the view from the colonies? what is the view from britain on this problem about the empire? so the object here in the media piece really pull that story apart. for native people, for instance, in 1763, they are the first group of people who really rise up and push back against an increased british control of their lives and a rebellion known as pontiacs rebellion. they push the crown to guaranty their sovereignty over their land in the west. the british conclude that the best way to get their arms around this new empire is to build forts and stations, more than 10,000 british regular troops in north america.
10:16 am
not necessarily to oppress colonists, just to keep these various populations separated from one another. that is a very expensive proposition. british taxpayers have funded this war, they had driven their national debt up very high. in the parliament, nobody is thinking, we should continue to tax british taxpayers for this. american colonists have enjoyed the benefits of this victory, we should ask them to contribute. so the idea comes up and eventually passes through parliament what is known as the stamp act. and this is the depiction on the wall here of the design of that stamp. this is not the stamp you put on a letter, of course. this is a very old method of taxation, very familiar to british people. because it was essentially a stamp that was placed on paper, and you can see an original example here, this is a london
10:17 am
newspaper, and in the lower right-hand corner, you can see the design stamped on the paper. that meant a tax had been paid on that paper and the newspaper would be printed on. this also applied to parchment you would use for legal documents. it was on playing cards. this was the design for the stamps that would have been used in america to help pay for those british troops that were supposed to police the empire. of course, this was a challenge to colonial americans to view as they viewed themselves as transplanted englishman. they may not have had any english ancestry whatsoever, that was the remarkable thing about being british colonists, whether you were swedish or dutch, or you came from any number of european backgrounds, once you become a naturalized british citizen, you believe you have these fundamental rights as englishman one of the most fundamental of those is the
10:18 am
right not to be taxed without your own consent. that would be given through elected representatives. in britain, that's parliament. in the colonies, the view was this was through colonial assemblies. so if you come to philadelphia and you visit independence hall, we know that as independence hall because of something that happened in 7076. two people in the period, that was the pennsylvania state house. that's where the colonial legislature met. if you go to boston, the old statehouse, these were the legislative assemblies were men met with an elected. those four people who could pass -- and those were the people who could pass taxes and impose taxes on them in the view of colonists, so you have to sort of visions of empire that polite -- that come about in this room.
10:19 am
is the empire going to be managed locally from the colonists or are colonists going to tax themselves and provide the manpower to make decisions about defense? or is that going to come from above, in this case from parliament? that is what is represented by the tax stuff behind me here. of course, the very famous benjamin franklin, he recognizes nobody likes taxes, but does not anticipate the absolutely the reaction in the colonies. he even has friends of his income tax collectors and he has to recover his reputation a little bit after the stamp act is passed. in the next room, which recall resistance, is about the decades stretching from the stamp act from 1765 to the outbreak of the revolutionary war in 1775. this is a room that also introduces one of the exhibition
10:20 am
techniques we use, which is to create these immersive spaces to try and make you feel transported back in time. so we re-created here the elder -- elm tree that stood in boston in 1765 that became known as the liberty tree. this was a phenomenon that spread through other towns and colonies in the period. it was a place where sons and daughters of liberty gathered in an open air, political meetings to talk about how they would react to these efforts are the british to impose taxes to parliament on them. we embedded in the trunk of the tree a piece of wood from the last standing liberty tree or it -- tree. it was standing in 1779. some of the wood was salvaged and it is just a wonderful to
10:21 am
have kids feel like they are touching a piece of history here. this also is a gallery in which we explore some of the symbols of the resistance movement, forms of resistance. non-importation, the impulse to boycott goods that were in manufactured in britain and replaced them with locally made goods. we think nowadays, this by local, buy american movement is something we invented, but this has roots going all the way back to the 1760's. save your money, save your country. that is actually a slogan from a newspaper in that period. we have objects used to present political sentiments from the period. ironically, these were items made by british manufactures, but most manufacturers, there
10:22 am
politics follow their wallet, so this was made by english or chinese porcelain bowls with arms of liberty printed on it. this mug in the lower left is an item from the collection here at the museum of the american revolution. it says success to the city of boston, liberty forever. made in england for the american market. this is also a gallery in which you talk about the evolving language of liberty. you see a lot of writings and articulation of new ideas not just about british liberty being restored, but this increasing idea that perhaps there is something called american liberty that is maybe extinct from that of britain's. as all of this sort of lofty languages rising, we also want to confront that with the reality that this idea of liberty did not apply to everyone. in this panel here, which we entitled liberty for all, we
10:23 am
explore the experience of slavery for people of african descent. and this incredible object that survived is an original printing of the poems of phyllis wheatley, an enslaved woman who lived in massachusetts. she had been taken into captivity as a child during the french and indian war from africa. she eventually learned to read and write, and published this book of poems in 1773. she signed the flyleaf here. we actually see the signature of phyllis wheatley, this is an incredible list to be able to -- incredible privilege to be able to display this and share this with our visitors. this is actually on the left, an image of her reproduced from the piece of that book that gives us an idea of what she may have looked like. so this gallery concludes with a kind of timeline of events from
10:24 am
the boston tea party in december of 1773 through the opening shots of the revolutionary war in 1775, and we of course show some of the symbols of the mounting american resistance here. we reproduced from a written description this flag that stood atop a very tall flagpole in taunton, massachusetts in the fall of 1774. you can see, it was red. it is the type of flag that flew off of british ships and off british ports. it has the union jack on it. it's a good reminder that these were not yet people fighting for independence. there were not trying to found an independent republic. there were trying to restore their right in the british empire. the presence of that union on
10:25 am
their flag's protest, it says liberty in union there, so if it displays the sentiment of british tyranny, but they are still appealing to king george the third. their quarrel is with parliament, with ministers, not yet with the king. that flag is going to continue to evolve in the next couple of years, but it will eventually turn into what we know as the stars and stripes. there are several steps in that evolution. in his next gallery that we step into, we basically take you out of that decade of resistance as americans are gradually finding themselves more and more alienated from britain and both sides are hardening in their attitudes toward one another. by the fall of 1774, king george feels they have crossed the rubicon, that is really going to be a matter of military showdown
10:26 am
to determine whether americans, he feels, are actually trying to found an independent nation, will be able to succeed or not. it is like living on a powder keg and the spark comes in april 1775, when a secret expedition of british troops marches out of boston toward concorde, massachusetts, where the spies have revealed that americans have been gathering arms for this military confrontation and the british troops, the alarm goes out, this is the famous ride of paul revere. he was one of dozens of writers. -- he was one of dozens of riders. he did not even get as far as other state, but he managed to warn the countryside and there is a competition that takes place at lexington, massachusetts, and a few hours later at the old north bridge in concorde. that is the scene you see playing at here. we actually animated a period engraving of the fight at concorde bridge. that is a place that every american should visit at some
10:27 am
point. you can stand on this ground today, you can see the house that stands up on the farm of above the river that still stands there today. and these are all objects which are witness objects to that fighting, whether a piece of wood that is literally one of the diagonal braces from the bridge over the river. on april 19, 1775. that actually came out of the river in the 1950's. it was right there with the bridge stood. there was only one bridge made of oak that ever stood on that site. the river changed course and they moved the bridge to a different location. it matches perfectly. the location description of the bridge. and objects to the generosity of the concorde museum in concorde, massachusetts, which has placed a number of these items on display, supplemented pieces of
10:28 am
our own collection. you are able to see all witness items that were there at the fighting on april 19, 1775. the mirror is really fascinating. this has been in a collection of the concorde museum in massachusetts for well over a century. this was in the home, actually visible in the far left of the scene here in the background of the fighting, and that house belonged to catherine david brown. this is actually the fowling piece, or musket he carried in the fighting on april 19. this mirror was on the wall in the house and on the morning of april 19, british soldiers marched across that bridge and went into the house and one of them took that mirror off the wall and threw it out the door, smashing it in the yard outside. only one piece of glass was left and it was kept as a memento of april 19 by british barberry of the family before it was donated to the museum.
10:29 am
it's incredible to actually bring together the mirror which probably had been separated since captain david brown's death in the early 1800s. we are having a little bit of a family reunion here for the summer of 2017. [laughter] so that fighting than brings -- then brings soldiers from up and down the east coast together. you think about that gallery that centers on the liberty tree for about a decade. colonial americans formed an imagined community. they started to feel empathy for one another and such that when the coercive acts are past and britain is bottled up, sorry britain bottles up boston and pennsylvania and new jersey will put flour on a wagon and send to the beleaguered subjects who are living in boston. they started to imagine
10:30 am
themselves as americans and had this kind of empathy for one another. but what happens is because the fighting sparks and men from all over the colonies stream together, they find that they have a ways to go before they see themselves as fellow americans. so this gallery is about the beginning of that quest for unity. flying over the scene is the next evolution of that flag. you recognized the british canton -- this is still a fight to restore our rights as englishmen. but now, the 13 alternating red and white stripes representing the 13 colonies who have joined in union here. the scene -- and we refer to this as a tableau. these are actually life cast figures. we pulled molds off faces and hands and bodies and very carefully researched and handsewn all of the clothing to
10:31 am
compensate for a lack of photographs from the 18th century. but the scene is based on a pension deposition by a man named israel trask. in 1775, he was this 10-year-old boy in the red coat whose father had brought him to war. he was a massachusetts boy, you know, these were yankee fishermen in a regiment from the north shore, north of boston. they encountered a group of virginia rifleman who had come in their fringed hunting shirts, trying to appear like american indians. they come together around the college buildings in harvard college at the time, now harvard university. and a fight breaks out among these men from these two different regions. and israel trask, in 1845, remembers that george washington rode into this scene, broke up the soldiers' fight. this is just a moment in which washington was riding home to -- writing home to his brother in virginia, talking about the
10:32 am
challenges he was facing to try and get men for whom there colony was their country to think of themselves as americans. so we think this is a wonderful storytelling device to point out how long that journey would be. perhaps a journey that is not even finished yet today, for us all to see ourselves as americans, despite our diversity. each one of our cases in this gallery explores one of the three, sort of, big participants in this tableau. new englanders, southern rifleman, george washington himself. so in this case, these are items that reflect the sort of military traditions of new englanders in the period. and the red coat, which is in the back, is on loan to us from it private collector, is one of the few surviving garments from an american participant in the revolutionary war. that was worn by a man who fought at the battle of bunker hill. and of course, some people say, red coat, isn't that british?
10:33 am
remember, we are all british at this point. this was not yet a fight for american independence. right beside him is this leather bound book. it is a bible that was carried by another soldier, in this case from ipswich, massachusetts, francis merryfield, who had that in his pocket during the battle of bunker hill. that night, when they retreated, he sat down and wrote a short account of the fighting at bunker hill. he thanked god for preserving his life, dedicated his life to the glory of god for having saved his life during this terrible battle at bunker hill. so it is amazing. it is tough. so what about the riflemen from the south? this is a great group of objects that reflect the, sort of, southern military tradition, men from pennsylvania, maryland, virginia, the backcountry. this is one of only a handful of fringed rifle shirts that have survived.
10:34 am
there are only three or four of these that have survived from the revolutionary era. this is one from the collection americanseum of revolution here in philadelphia. the rifle is the earliest signed and dated american rifle from colonial america, 1761, made in reading, pennsylvania, a very distinctive type of very accurate firearm used by these riflemen from the seven colonies to try to use the great accuracy of these firearms to compensate for not having as many men as the british army had. and finally, the tombstone that actually stood in the churchyard , the trinity churchyard, near ground zero in new york city. in memory of michael crescent, who was the captain of a rifle regiment that was raised in western maryland. he died in new york in 1775, having marched to boston and then contracted fever. that's a great object that
10:35 am
remembers michael cresap. finally, george washington himself, through the courtesy of two institutions very generously lending these objects. we brought together for the first time since 1776. the portrait of george washington painted here in philadelphia in the summer of 1776. this was commissioned by john hancock, painted by charles willson peale. if you see over the shoulder of general washington, that blue-ribbon. this was a mark that washington purchased in boston in 1775 to distinguish himself. of course, this is primarily a new england army that this virginia and has been appointed to command. nobody knows who's in charge. and so the first thing he does is purchase this ribbon to mark him as the commander in chief. and here below the portrait is the actual original ribbon which
10:36 am
washington gave to the painter, charles willson peale, later during the revolutionary war. that defended and is now in the collection of the harvard peabody museum. and so this gallery sort of takes you through the end of 1775. and it is now january of 1776. our next gallery, which we title "revolution: everything changed in 1776," really focuses on the independence movement and the big change now from appealing to the king to try to resolve these differences to deciding that the king was the enemy and that the only solution was to declare independence. so one of the things we try to is invert thelery narrative that many of us were taught in school, which was viewing the declaration of independence as a document sprung from the mind of thomas jefferson, shared with members of congress, passed, and then announced to all of us, the
10:37 am
citizens of america. we are trying to point out that , as jefferson himself said, the declaration of independence was an expression of the american mind. so in the early part of the gallery here, we try to look at all the other declarations of independence that preceded the declaration of independence of july 1776. we do that through this touch screen interactive, where you can scroll through the months from january through to july. you can see, as i do that, the colonies are populated with these little blue circles. what those are showing you is in each one of the colonies, local declarations of independence, in this case representatives from charlotte county voting to support independence on april 23, 1776. in south carolina, for instance, a grand jury voting to support independence.
10:38 am
these are often actions by courts. the grand jury voting to support independence in april. you go to pennsylvania, for instance, a military organization, like a militia group, like the crawford battalion of associate's, voting to support independence. massachusetts itself, which puts the question of independence through all the towns. these are all towns that voted to support independence send instructions to the delegates. so it's really extraordinary. you can also explore the opinions of colonial americans. so here, flora mcdonald, who is actually a loyalist, her sentiments on this question. again, not everyone was in support of independence. there were those who felt that this was a leap in the dark. one of them literally described this as a leap in the dark. and why on earth would you declare independence from the greatest empire in the world? they were behind the resistance
10:39 am
movement, but there were those who said they cannot go and actually imagine declaring independence, that that was an act of treason too horrible to imagine. we explore in this story also through original objects. these are works on paper, actual original printings of the proclamation by king george iii for suppressing rebellion and sedition. this was passed in august of 1775. the news of this and king george's speech to parliament, delivered in october of 1775, which declared the colonists in rebellion, all arrive in philadelphia in january of 1776. the same week as a pamphlet is published just a block from where we are standing here at of the american revolution by thomas paine, who is the failed english corset maker. he had tried to be a tax
10:40 am
collector paid really did not find his way until he realized he could make an amazing career for himself writing. he wrote a pamphlet called "common sense" -- which in plain everyday language here, and this was an english reprinting of that. the pamphlet calls for an independent nation to be created, that all the state should become republics, he rejects monarchy as a system of government, and now the king is being cast as an enemy rather than a protector of the people. and so this is when this becomes an american revolution. so in this gallery, then, we kind of unpack the story of the declaration of independence. we have a small theater which explores the actual process of drafting and passing the declaration of independence. we rotate, on display, printings
10:41 am
of the declaration. of course, we are all familiar with the engrossed copy on parchment we see at the national archives in washington, d.c. but other than members of congress, very few people have saw -- very few people ever that document. most people encounter the text of the declaration either from newspaper broadside printings or having it read out loud in their various communities. so we rotate, on display, different printings of the declaration. right now, we have one of the rarest, actually. a german language printing here in the center. there are only two copies of this july, 1776 printing in german that have survived. in this has been shared with us by gettysburg college in pennsylvania. it is side-by-side with a salem, massachusetts printing of the declaration. we also explored the promise of equality. so this notion that all men are
10:42 am
created equal, and doubt by their -- endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. that's the language that, of course, each person has to decide, does that apply to me? the people that wrote those words may be did not really recognize the revolutionary potential in that. actually, some people, like john adams, actually did realize that when you declare all men are treated equal, people would say, what about women? what about enslaved people? laboring men? so we tried to explore that story through this wall here, where we look at the status of laboring men, of enslaved people, of women, including abigail adams. we also explore the foundations of religious freedom through a group of objects representing different communities of faith in the colonies. so these on the left, these are
10:43 am
known as rimonim. these are highly decorated to cover the ends of the torah used by a jewish community here in israel. it is still an active community in philadelphia. we have a weathervane from one of the first lutheran churches, in trap, pennsylvania, 1743. we even represent the presence of islam in america, very difficult to document through material culture. a very small charm -- this is a little copper charm with an inscription from the koran that was excavated in pennsylvania from an archaeological site getting to the mid-18th century, perhaps owned by enslaved african who was muslim. it is really tremendous to be able to have this tradition represented through an object in the museum. so when you get to this point in the galleries, you then and counselor the statue of king
10:44 am
george iii. we bring you back to when the moment started, when the declaration was being read in july, 1776. we have a sailor offering you a rope that he's throwing down to try to invite you to consider, but where would you have stood at this point in the story? you have heard what the loyalist critique is, you have heard people try to remain neutral, seen fervent revolutionaries. we want you to feel like that maybe you had a choice, and the outcome was still quite uncertain. we actually have on display these large lumps here in the case, on loan to us from the new york historical society, are fragments of the original statute that stood there at the bowling green. it was composed of gilt lead. that is about 4000 pounds of lead in large sheets. that was broken apart into sheets and melted down into 42,000 musket balls, which were turned into ammunition for the
10:45 am
continental army. those musket balls were referred to, in one newspaper as "melted , majesty." it was issued out to the continental army and fired back at the ministerial troops, as they called them. so there are only a few fragments of that statue that have actually survived. but it's a great story. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> up next on american history tv, zena howard speaks to a gathering hosted by the association of african-american museums about design museums and public spaces. ms. howard was a senior project manager on the smithsonian national museum of african american history and culture. this is about 40 minutes. >> you are so gorgeous.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on